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That was a little more like it. This time the Ohio State football team took care of business against an Akron team it should have with little drama involved (well sort of) 59-7. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good to see freshman quarterback Kyle McCord more or less get the job done, and the defense play much more aggressive and purposeful.
It wasn’t perfect though. There was a bizarre moment that we’ll get into later, and the defense still came out of the gate a little slow before figuring some things out.
As we do with every game, we provide you with five knee-jerk things we think we learned after soaking in all the action from the game, and we’re up to the task again.
Here are five things we think we learned from Ohio State against Akron on Saturday night.
NEXT … There is a lot of young talent on this team
A ton of youth has this program in good shape for the future
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 26, 2021
There are two ways to look at this Ohio State team. You can be upset because there’s simply too much youth that’s trying to get up to speed quickly. There are sure to be headaches like we’ve seen. Or, you can be excited for the future in addition to looking for growth.
Whether it be the wide receivers, defensive line, or quarterback position, we saw a bunch of four and five start athletes doing some pretty cool things out there on Saturday night. Despite what the national folks may want to tell you, the future is just fine in Columbus.
We might just have to be more patient than anyone that follows Ohio State wants to be.
NEXT … There’s something going on with the linebacker room
Some not so good things are going on with the linebackers
— Buckeyes Wire (@BuckeyesWire) September 26, 2021
This past week, veteran linebacker Dallas Gant entered the transfer portal in the middle of the season. Tonight, we saw a truly bizarre moment when another linebacker, K’Vaughan Pope, got in a heated exchange on the sidelines, then stormed off the field and into the locker room before angry tweeting at the Ohio State football program.
We’re guessing he’s done with the team, and I’m sure head coach Ryan Day will be asked about it in the postgame. Regardless, there appears to be a lack of leadership and cohesiveness with this group. The Buckeyes lost the top four linebackers from last season, and sometimes that can create a power struggle when there’s nobody to fill the void. Something is going on behind the scenes and OSU would be wise to take care of it before it becomes a cancer that spreads to the rest of the team.
NEXT … Reviews on Kyle McCord are mixed
Kyle McCord looked good at times, and not so good at times
Kyle McCord 34-yard TD pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba pic.twitter.com/CjiDGox9wr
— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) September 26, 2021
You had to expect some moments of bright lights for freshman quarterback Kyle McCord getting his first start in a big-time college atmosphere. We definitely saw some of that, especially early.
However, McCord did seem to settle down with some shorter passes that were turned into big plays by some electric wide receivers and backs. He became a game manager more or less and did make some nice, confident throws as things wore on. He’ll probably be kicking himself for an ill-advised interception, but it was a good get-the-feet wet type of game.
The talent and arm are clearly there for McCord, and it’ll be interesting to see where the quarterback race goes next year and beyond. With more experience, he’ll get better.
NEXT … It’s clear TreVeyon Henderson is the No. 1 tailback now
The TreVeyon Henderson era has begun
TreVeyon Henderson takes a toss from McCord and runs 14 yards for a touchdown.
Ohio State 28 – Akron 7
3 plays, 40 yards, 1:01
2Q – 7:16
— Buckeye Sports Bulletin (@Buckeye_Sports) September 26, 2021
The Ohio State coaches will tell you that they need all the running backs on the roster, and most especially the top three of Miyan Williams, Master Teague, and TreVeyon Henderson. And yeah, that is true.
However, though Day has stopped short of officially calling Henderson the No. 1 tailback, the game situations and volume of carries tell you all you need to know. He has an extra gear the other two simply don’t have and is a game-breaking difference at the position. That’s going to play at a place like Ohio State now and forever.
Much better from the defensive line
It all starts with the defensive line
Tyleik Williams with a pancake of a sack.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) September 26, 2021
We said it at the end of last year. We repeated it during spring, and we kept singing this song through fall camp. This Ohio State defense is going to only be as good as the productivity of the defensive line. It’s the most veteran unit with the most depth of talent on that side of the ball, and a lot of deficiencies on the back-end can be covered up by pressure up front with the front four.
But so far this year, things haven’t been up to snuff. The edge rushers haven’t been getting off the ball fast enough, and the middle of the line hasn’t quite been getting the consistent push you’d expect. It’s all resulted in a defense that looks like it has all kinds of holes.
Things looked much better in this one. Now, we must remember that Akron was severely outmanned in the talent department, but still, the Buckeyes were able to come at quarterback D.J. Irons in waves, tallying multiple sacks, tackles for loss, and even more pressures and hurries.
It doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t continue through the next weeks, but it was nice to see some more explosiveness and disruption from that unit Saturday.
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Ohio State linebacker K'Vaughan Pope apparently quits team, angry tweets in middle of game against Akron
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